English Words in Action, Group T

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

toast (s) (noun), toasts (pl)
1. Usually a special situation in which words are spoken in honor of someone to express good wishes, etc., after which people drink to show that they agree with the spoken words: Susanne made a toast to the bride and groom and then all of the people there drank a toast to the newly married couple.
2. Someone who is very popular in a particular place or among a particular group of people: After Marvin won the championship, he was said to be the toast of the sport.
3. Bread which has been sliced and then made crisp and brown by heating: Sean and Shareen had toast with their scrambled eggs.
toast (verb), toasts; toasted; toasting
1. To drink or to propose a tribute and libation for someone and to honor that person with a speech and a drink: They all toasted the winner of the computer programming contest.

In Scotland, a new project in the Scotch producing region of Speyside plans to take the waste from the whiskey-making process and turn it into electrical power; so, in a few years, some 9,000 homeowners may be able to toast their new source of electricity over and over again.

—Compiled from information provided by National Public Radio on their web site at
"Scottish Homes Could Be Energized By Whiskey", at NPR.org on May 6, 2011.
2. To make food; such as, bread crisp and brown by heating it: Jillian toasted the bread in a toaster for breakfast.
3. To warm oneself, or a part of the body, by being close to a fire or some other source of heat: Earl was toasting his cold feet in front of the fireplace.
toaster (s) (noun), toasters (pl)
An electric device used to heat and brown bread; especially, by exposure to electrically heated wire coils: Mary used her toaster to make toast for her family.
torrent (s) (noun), torrents (pl)
1. A strong and very fast flow; especially, a moving flow of water or some other fluid: As a result of the hurricane, heavy rain poured down in torrents in several cities causing extensive destruction.

After the winter snow melted, the stream became a raging torrent.

2. Etymology: from French torrent, and from Latin torrentem, torrens. "rushing stream"; originally, it meant "roaring, boiling, burning, and parching"; from Latin torrere, "to parch, to scorch".
A fast and excessive flow of mail.
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torrent of (s) (noun phrase), torrents of (pl)
A violent, sudden, and excessive outpouring of something; usually, words or feelings: Ingrid experienced a torrent of abusive words from her supervisor because she didn't get her report in on time.
torrential (adjective), more torrential, most torrential
A reference to rain falling rapidly and in copious quantities: The thunderstorm resulted in a torrential downpour that caused a great deal of flooding.
Overwhelming and rushing powerfully.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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toward (preposition), towards
1. In the direction of someone or something: Mabel walked toward the door to her kitchen.

Mike is driving his car toward town.

Elisa is coming towards me with a glass of water.

2. Used to indicate a direction faced by an object: Susan said, "Tom, please turn the light towards the ceiling."
3. Close to or near a place: Tabitha and Willie live out towards the edge of the forest.
4. Not long before a special time: Natasha and Brandon plan to go on their trip towards the end of the summer.
5. A process which is meant to achieve or to produce some objective: All of the efforts toward putting out the fires have been delayed because of the dry weather and the scorching hot temperatures.
6. Referring to part of a payment for something: Melba deposited $1,500 toward the costs of her trip to France.
traffic (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. Movement of cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships, and pedestrians: That highway has a great deal of traffic at noon.

The manager said that most of the store's traffic was from the entrance to the dress department.

2. The changes of locations of passengers, travelers, voyagers, vacationists, and commuters: Dina was told that the evening flight to New York had a lot of traffic.
3. The system of illegally buying and selling things; such as, drugs, weapons, etc.: The federal authorities are striving to suppress the illegal drug traffic; especially, the traffic that is coming from Mexico.

Henry claims that his family has never had any traffic with criminals.

The bootlegger was arrested for his illegal participation in the traffic of illegal liquor.

traffic (verb), traffics; trafficked; trafficking
To pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; especially, to buy or to sell goods illegally: The student was trafficking in drugs at the university he was attending and he was convicted of such criminal acts.
travail (s) (noun), travails (pl)
1. Work or problems which are unpleasant, difficult, or demanding: The travail of childbirth, sometimes with hours of labor pains for the mother, involves a lot of agony and exertion.
2. Etymology: from Latin tripaliare, "to torture"; from trepalium, "instrument of torture" probably from Latin tripalis, "having three stakes"; from tria, "three" + palus, "stake".
Distress encountered when striving to achieve something.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

tread (verb), treads; trod; treading
1. To trample on something: to step or put a foot on something, especially so as to crush or to damage it: Mother said, "Maxwell, please don't tread on the grass."

Later, tired and weary, the group trod back to camp.

2. To take a step or steps, or walk or step on, across, or along something: James has gone where others fear to tread.

The boys trod on the newly planted flowers in Marcy's yard.

3. To form something, such as, a path by trampling or walking: Janet can see that countless footsteps have been trodden to her door.

Dr. Livingstone visited parts of Africa where the foot of a white man had never trod before.

Look where the rabbits have trodden out a path in the snow.

4. To proceed or to behave in a particular way: The opposition realized that it would have to tread carefully against the other political party.
5. To repress or to treat someone or something harshly: Joshua was treading on Carol's feelings and her little son, Jimmy, sometimes tread on her toes.
6. Etymology: Old English tredan, from Proto-Germanic tredanan.

The noun is recorded from about 1225, from the verb; in reference to automobile tires, it is recorded from 1906.

tread water (verb), treads water; treaded water; treading water
1. To keep an upright position in deep water by moving the feet with a walking movement and the hands with a downward circular motion: Sam was treading water as a form of exercise.
2. Failing to advance or to make progress: There are some people who are treading water as they struggle to survive without jobs in these bad economic times.
treader (s) (noun), treaders (pl)
People who walk or step on different surfaces: There were many treaders in the snow after the first snowfall covered the sidewalks in town.
treadle (s) (noun), treadles (pl)
1. A small, flat bar that is pressed with the foot to operate a machine: The seamstress used a treadle on her old-fashioned sewing machine.

Treadles are normally used to cause rotary motions in various machines by people who use their feet to sustain the movements.

2. A row of metal spikes that are set on an angle of a spring within a plate that is laid across an entrance or an exit of a parking lot: Some treadles are used to prevent drivers, who park their cars in a facility, from being able to leave without paying their parking fees.
treadler (s) (noun), treadlers (pl)
Those who walk on or along a certain way: Treadlers will soon be walking the floors of the new shopping center in town.

It is recommended that people should at least be outdoor treadlers so they can get some exercise and fresh air.

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.